Thursday, April 30, 2020

d.i.y.: beaded horseshoe

I’d been working on cleaning the house, organizing closets, doing my regular work, and was getting burned out. I needed a craft!

In organizing my shed I randomly found about 10 horseshoes I’d collected over the years. Four were from my first horse, the rest were random finds. Though Major may be barefoot, I’ve nothing against this traditional horse accessory, and figured to make the most of it! I looked at a couple ideas online, but most were too gaudy for me. Then I did what I usually do: wing it.

gather all the stuff (and more!)

get the worse of the rust/dirt off (leave some for character if you like that!)
First, gather all the stuff, though this is a pretty basic project. Horseshoes, wire, beads of any sort, sandpaper/steel wool to clean up the shoes (if they are as dirty as the ones I had!). Not pictured: I did use a nail and hammer to push out the leftover bits of nail rusted into the holes, you want the horseshoe nail holes available when beading!

beads and estimated placement

The next part of fun: figure out the beads you want to use. My sophisticated bead layout device (plastic food storage top) was very handy, about the shape of a horseshoe and easy to see to many I needed (FYI: I did overestimate).

sometimes easier to take the wire to the beads (rather than try to pick up tiny, tiny beads!)

begin wrapping by inserting wire through horseshoe nail hole

continue by weaving up and down and back till filled

The wire I found worked best was some 28 gauge craft wire. There are few pictures of my process (since I only have two hands, sorry!), but I’d wire some beads, enough for between 2 holes (about 3/4 inch), then go down one hole and up the next, wire some beads, repeat, sometimes backtracking to fill a gap. The back of the horseshoe has wires twisting around and about (and no beads), but when complete I wrapped them and trimmed the wire, making sure the wire end was not going to stab someone. You could also wrap wire around the shoe, but it was too much for me, I preferred the simple look.

completed (just add hanger!)

I did like my addition of some letter beads. I could only spell things for letters I already had, which was limited, but I think they worked. I added a rusted chain hanger for some and a ribbon hanger for another. Those connect to the excess wire in the back of the shoe.

the four horsemen horseshoes of the apocalypse

This was fun, cute project, that I’d love to share! In the summer (hopefully) when stay-at-home gets lifted and I feel like going out, I’d love to mail these off to anyone who wants them (I’ll also be donating to the organization I belong to that has a horsey raffle). I hope this simple little project inspires someone to create!

brave, luck, bold and trust

Monday, April 27, 2020

monday moment: vintage

While organizing my feed storage space, I re-found this old wallboard panel in the garage. When remodeling my house we cut this out and saved it, because how epic is this bucking horse and cowboy paper?

vintage wallpaper

I love the details: bucking horse, roping a calf, wrestling a steer, some branding marks, riding the bronco, even a fancy sheriff star.

love this bronco detail

This was behind 70s paneling, in a closet, behind an installed dresser. That part of my house was built in the late 1930s, but this looks more like 50s maybe? I’d like to meet the kid who had this in their room…

my favorite detail

Friday, April 24, 2020


I'm not riding much, but I am riding a bit. I hate that I was worried about writing that (as I’ve seen some serious judging online), but if is offends someone then I’m sorry, everyone has to do what they see as OK, with suitable precautions. In my case I still have to go in to work about twice a week (the other days I work from home). On those days after work, I go see Major (he is conveniently between work and home) and fit in a quick ride sometimes too.

empty landscape

Luckily my stable is set up so I go through one outside gate to get to Major (that me and one other absentee boarder use), then I tack up at my trailer (that no one else goes near). I have seen one cyclist on a parallel trail, two rider friends off in the distance, and a few people walking on the county lane. All parks are open in my county, just not parking lots, so they’re used by those with local knowledge of the trails.

deer trail to balancing rock

rocks sand sky
Spring has certainly sprung and the grass and everything is green and luscious. It also means the lake is rising, and will lose that trail for the season soon. But I’ve been staying close to home in the forest, and mostly just exploring: following deer trails, taking trails unused for awhile, stopping for pretty views. I explored a deer trail the other day that led to a very cool rocky formation, complete with balancing rock, and the trail beckoned for more exploring. But I was done for that day, and will save that for another time.

I'm done! But we just started Major.

making Major do stupid horse tricks
Also more hiking! I need the exercise (as does Major, but not as much), so often I just throw his halter and lead rope on and wander off into the forest. Sometimes I even drag the SO with me! The only bad part is the prolific poison oak, but I’m avoiding it as much as possible while still seeking out interesting trails. I’m also avoiding the big hills that Major usually carries me up, they’re a lot of work!

tailing Major behind my SO

actual proof I exist
I can also hike from my house into the state park, closed for driving to but not hiking trails. It is a quiet portion of the park, I’ve seen very few people, but some pretty spring flowers (and a late, fat, salamander!).

wild iris

california poppy

fat salamander, pretty late for the party

I hope everyone is taking care, of yourselves and your horses, in the best way possible for you at this time. I’m glad to be getting out in a limited way, and never more grateful for where I live.

Major surveying an empty lake

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

cleaning up

These days I have lots of blog posts and photos in my brain, getting them on “paper” is harder. But I think I’ve hit a level of “normal” in these times, so I’ll start to show you what I’ve been up to!

I’m lucky to still be working (though not as much) and certainly staying busy (because other than projects, I also count reading a book and drinking tea as busy). A complete introvert, this may be making me much worse!
how perfect this mug from my sister!

But I did CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! (OK, not my tack, I hate cleaning tack and am putting that off). First cleaning project was my feed room.

Now my “feed room” is just a corner in my 1940s garage (too small and weirdly angled for any modern car to fit), but I sadly did not take any photos of the before. Picture this: old tiny desk, once cute, now with peeling wood. Only fits three buckets (one orange, one white, one galvanized), the rest is precariously balanced on some wood boxes, lids of cans, etc. It was not very efficient.

Enter the new desktop. I loved this green desktop, bought on clearance at Ikea some time ago. Thought I’d find a use for it in my office, but went another directions (standing desk with butcher block top). Finally decided what the hell, what not use it for my feed area (I know it may not hold up great over time, but this space is only used a couple times a month, when I make Major his feed and supplement baggies for the stable, and my crappy wood desk lasted 10 years!).

love this new setup!

so organized (for now!)

Desktop + garage shelving supports = new table! Then of course everything else looked haphazard too. I scrounged all the orange buckets (just happenstance!) from the garage, so they all match now. And did buy one new galvanized can so feed is all in one type of container, instead of scattered about in random plastic bins. Then, of course, I had to label all the things! My vinyl cutter is so much fun, I made large labels for the buckets and cans too.

label all the things!

more fun labeling!

I even organized my lockers. These are from a school surplus, and had been collecting random things inside. Now four lockers are horse (hoof boots/misc tack, blankets, tack cleaning, horse health), one is other (kayak stuff) and one is actually empty!

this locker will not get much use!

After all this I realized, actually, it is a pretty good idea to make sure someone else (my SO!) could make up baggies if I was indisposed (in these times, a true worry). Wrote out all the ingredients needed and hung in a noticeable place. (True, at his stable Major gets hay and water, and truly does not NEED these baggies, but I feel better supplementing him these basics).

a little art in the space, and Major's feed list

so efficient to make all the baggies!

Now it is so pretty I want to go out there and just make baggies, but they’re easy to make and Major is set for the month. Though he would insist I did not fill them full enough!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

see ya

Major is like the little kid who can't just walk somewhere, he has to run. And that includes EVERY time he enters his pasture from the bottom arena. On this day I'd been cleaning his pasture, he was eating weeds around the edges of the arena (so much more fun than eating in your own pasture, didn't you know?). The gate had been open for at least 10 minutes. Then he lifted his head, and even from a distance I saw that flicker in his eye.

Up his head came, across the arena he trotted (he always slows though the moat gate with little ditch) and he galloped up the hill! There was no extra feed under his shelter, so he just wandered the alley (between the pastures) and tried to play with everyone. Glad my horse is having a good time.

I tried this "running places" thing later, and ran to the end of my driveway. Other than worrying about falling on my face, I admit, it was pretty fun…